Strength. Intuition. Humor. Selflessness. Forethought. Comfort. Grace. Humility. Joy. Passion. Empathy.
These are what make you a woman.
When I heard you say out loud that this surgery was removing what was left of your womanhood,
that what would remain would be a
of a woman,
my heart officially broke.
So I got to thinking:
"What defines womanhood?"
Because it certainly can't be our physical parts.
These can be taken from us,
but the woman definitely remains.
As I sit here by your side while you sleep on this, our 3rd night in the hospital,
I can hear you breathing.
The first night, even breathing wasn't so easy.
Your STRENGTH has brought you this far.
How is it that you and I can be feeling the same way at the same time? It is the magic otherwise known as a woman's INTUITION. It is this, more than any physical body part that I am thankful to have inherited from you.
The moment we stepped into this hospital, you had one goal: To make every person you came into contact with laugh. Your sense of HUMOR has blessed your relationships with others, including every nurse in this hospital. In fact, one didn't want to leave you yesterday as her shift ended. Your humor has always been intact: My friends still talk about the bikini night shirt you wore to every sleep over at our house!
The night before your surgery, you wanted to go to the grocery store; not to buy things for yourself, but to stock your kitchen for your sons who would be staying at your house for a few nights. You were, and always have been, SELFLESS. There is no greater COMFORT than knowing that your mom is nearby, in thought or in presence.
Your GRACE has been a guiding light these last few days.
As you said earlier today, "If you treat the nurses kindly, without demanding, you will be treated that way in return." It takes HUMILITY to think of others first when you are in too much pain to help yourself.
The last few days, you have been visited by your first grandson, Jackson. The moment his face pokes out from behind the curtain, your JOY is unmistakable. Your PASSION for being "Grammy" trumps any pain that may come your way.
When the doctors told you that you needed to get up and walk, the task seemed monstrous. You had been bedridden for 2 days and your strength was extremely low. However, as you began to walk, your goal quickly shifted from walking only a few steps, to making it to the door of your neighbor (who had been yelling "hello" from down the hall for 2 days straight). Your EMPATHY for a man who didn't have visitors brightened his day (even though he seemed more interested in his pillow, he knew you were there to see him), and everyone else's around you.
Although there is so much more I could say, the largest, most significant aspect of your womanhood is your UNBOUNDED LOVE for my brothers and me. Even in your heavily medicated states these last few days, you've been more concerned for us than for yourself; always checking on whether we've eaten, slept, etc. "You can never stop being a mother," you said...over and over again.
And so, as you and I head home tomorrow, we may be leaving a large piece of you behind.
But your womanhood?
It remains fully intact.
No one can EVER take that from you.
I love you forever and forever,